Some eastern Bay of Plenty residents plan to fight a power company's application to further restrict the flow of the Rangitaiki River.
The regional council is waiting for the Environment Court to decide whether Trustpower or Fonterra has priority over the water, and other users are keen to have their say.
Trustpower wants to halve the low flow rate of the Rangitaiki River, which means holding back twice as much water and releasing it whenever it likes, so it can better meet periods of peak electricity demand.
Fonterra relies on a certain flow to meet its consent to dilute wastewater discharge from its Edgecumbe factory and wants to renew its existing use rights.
The Rangitaiki River Users Collective says water is needed for stock, irrigation, biodiversity and a navigable bar at Thornton.